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A pod of orcas breach the surface on a Nanaimo whale watching tour.

Nanaimo Whale Watching Tours: Experience the Marine Majesty

Looking to embark on a Nanaimo whale watching adventure? Have you ever dreamed of coming face to face with a graceful humpback or a playful pod of orcas?

Well, you’re in luck! Today is the day you embark on an unforgettable journey into the wild.

So, let’s leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind as you set sail on a voyage of discovery in Nanaimo’s aquatic paradise.

  1. Nanaimo Whale Watching Tours
  2. Tour Reviews
  3. How to Book
  4. Nanaimo Whale Watching FAQs

Whale Watching Nanaimo, BC

Picture this: the gentle sway of the boat, the crisp ocean air on your face, and the anticipation of spotting majestic whales in their natural habitat.

Welcome to Nanaimo, where whale watching dreams come true. Join us on an adventure of a lifetime as we explore the rich marine life that graces the waters off the coast of British Columbia.

Have you ever dreamed of coming face to face with a graceful humpback or a playful pod of orcas? Look no further because Vancouver Island is the perfect spot for the ultimate outdoor experience.

Let’s dive right into the Nanaimo whale watching tours on offer.

Nanaimo Whale Watching Tours

There are a variety of tours offered from in and around Nanaimo that cater to the needs and wishes of every traveller. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing cruise or a spellbinding zodiac adventure, Nanaimo has you covered!

And the best part? If you don’t see a whale, you’ll receive another journey free of charge. That’s right, all of our tours offer a coveted whale sighting guarantee!

A group embarks on a Nanaimo whale watching tour aboard a 12-passenger zodiac.

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour

Duration: 4 hours | Season: Mar-Nov | Cost: From CA$222.00 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 120+ reviews

Get ready for an unforgettable Nanaimo whale watching adventure! You’ll kick-start your day with a thorough check-in process, ensuring smooth sailing aboard your 12-passenger, 30-foot open-air vessel.

As you gather with your fellow adventurers, anticipation will build for the marine wonders awaiting you. Prepare to be mesmerized as you navigate through the picturesque Gulf Islands archipelago, immersing yourself in the beauty of the Salish Sea ecosystem.

And, of course, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for majestic orcas, grays, and humpback whales, as well as other marine species. Trust me, few things can compare to the sheer thrill of seeing a whale breach right in front of you. It’s truly captivating!

Your knowledgeable captain and marine naturalist will provide fascinating insights into their world. With state-of-the-art communication systems, you’ll collaborate with other whale-watching crews to virtually guarantee the spotting of these incredible creatures.

Your open-air Nanaimo whale watching tour includes the following:

  • 3-5 hour Nanaimo whale watching tour
  • Journey aboard a 12-passenger open-air zodiac
  • Professional guide with a background in marine biology
  • Anti-exposure/floatation suit provided
  • Whale sighting guarantee

Related: The 4 Top Victoria Whale Watching Tours

A semi-enclosed Nanaimo whale watching vessel.

Nanaimo Whale Watching in a Semi-Covered Boat

Duration: 3-5 hours | Season: Year-round| Cost: From CA$239.00 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 40+ reviews

Would you prefer a more relaxing Nanaimo whale watching tour away from the elements? Then, you should opt for an adventure aboard a semi-enclosed vessel that combines speed, agility, and comfort for the ultimate whale watching experience.

Inside, you’ll find a cozy, heated seating area with expansive windows, providing uninterrupted views of breaching whales and spectacular scenery. You’ll also find a spacious open-air viewing deck at the stern, offering panoramic vistas of the coastal wonders that await.

Your experienced marine expert guide is here to make sure you not only spot the incredible wildlife but also learn all about the fascinating sea life that calls Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands home.

From the majestic killer whales to the graceful humpback whales, playful seals, sea lions, curious porpoises, and soaring eagles, this tour promises encounters with a diverse array of marine creatures.

Get your cameras ready and prepare to be amazed at the wonders that await you out on the open waters!

Your semi-covered whale watching Nanaimo tour includes the following:

  • 3-5 hour Nanaimo whale watching tour
  • Journey aboard a 12-passenger semi-covered vessel
  • Professional guide with a background in marine biology
  • Whale sighting guarantee

Related: Cowichan Bay Whale Watching: Experience the Majesty

Nanaimo Whale Watching Reviews

Many customers prefer whale watching in Nanaimo over Vancouver or Victoria for a few key reasons. Firstly, Nanaimo offers a more intimate and immersive experience, with smaller tour groups and less crowded waters, allowing for better views of marine life.

Moreover, Nanaimo’s stunning coastal scenery and diverse marine ecosystem add to the allure, providing a picturesque backdrop for unforgettable whale watching adventures.

The result? Well, you’ll find each tour has earned stunning 4.5-5-star reviews across the board. Don’t believe me? Have a look at a couple of reviews of the Zodiac tour:

Reviews of the semi-covered whale watching Nanaimo, BC tours.

And here’s one from the semi-covered tours:

Looking to read more? Click on the button below for well over a hundred glowing reviews:


Related: Campbell River Whale Watching: An Insider’s Guide

How to Book Your Nanaimo Whale Watching Tour

Nanaimo whale watching tours are limited to 12 participants. Departure times are also not as frequent as in Victoria or Vancouver. As such, it is recommended to book your tours well in advance, particularly during high season.

Securing your booking on a Nanaimo orca tour is as easy as shopping on Amazon – in fact, it’s even faster.

Let’s learn how to book using the most popular option: the Nanaimo Open Boat Tour.

Would you prefer the semi-covered tour? The same steps apply!

1. Click on your Nanaimo Whale Tour of Choice

  • Visit Viator’s Nanaimo’s Open Boat Tour portal.
  • You’ll be booking with a publicly traded company (Tripadvisor) with a $3 billion market cap.
  • If you book with Viator, you’ll receive a book now, pay later option, which is great for budgeting.
  • You’re also locking in Viator’s lowest price guarantee to help you save money.

2. Select Your Departure Time

  • Select the ‘Check Availability’ button on the tour page.
  • Choose a date on the calendar (between Mar and Nov). Remember, semi-covered tours are available year-round.
  • Pick the number of participants and click ‘Apply.’
  • Select your time and click ‘Reserve Now & Pay Later’ or ‘Book Now’.

If you select ‘Reserve Now & Pay Later,’ you’ll have the option to pay for the tickets at any point up to 48 hours before your tour.

Change your mind? Either way, you can cancel free of charge up to 24 hours before departure.

Voila! You’ve locked in your Nanaimo whale watching tour in less than 5 minutes!

a banner for booking Nanaimo whale watching tours.

Related: Telegraph Cove Whale Watching: An Unforgettable Experience

Whale Watching Nanaimo, BC FAQs

There are a number of Nanaimo whale watching tours to suit every preference and schedule. From exhilarating high-speed zodiac tours for thrill-seekers to more leisurely eco-friendly cruises aboard comfortable vessels, there’s something for everyone.

The best time for Nanaimo whale watching tours is typically from April to October. During this period, the waters of the Salish Sea are teeming with marine life, including whales, dolphins, seals, and sea lions.

Nanaimo’s peak whale watching season is generally from June to September, when the resident orca population is most active. Nevertheless, tours are offered year-round, and transient orca populations and other species like grays, humpbacks, and minkes can be found at various times throughout the year.

During your Nanaimo whale-watching tour, you can expect to encounter a variety of whales, including majestic orcas (killer whales), playful humpback whales, and occasional sightings of minke whales and gray whales.

Your knowledgeable guide will help you identify these magnificent creatures and provide fascinating insights into their behaviours.

Nanaimo whale watching tours typically last between 3 and 5 hours, depending on the type of tour you choose, the weather, and the sightings on any given day.

Yes, absolutely! Whale watching in Nanaimo is suitable for individuals of all ages, including children and families. Experienced guides prioritize safety and comfort, ensuring an enjoyable and educational experience for everyone on board. Children often find the opportunity to see whales up close to be an unforgettable and inspiring adventure.

Related: The Best Day Trips from Victoria: Gateway to an Eco-tourism Paradise

All set to go whale watching in Nanaimo?

As our whale watching in Nanaimo excursion draws to a close, we extend our heartfelt thanks for joining us on this remarkable journey.

From the thrill of spotting breaching whales to the serenity of cruising along Nanaimo’s pristine coastline, your tour is guaranteed to be an experience you’ll cherish forever.

Wishing you safe travels, fair winds, and following seas. Enjoy your Nanaimo whale watching excursion 🙂

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